New Delhi: To protect Salman Khan starrer "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" from online piracy, Delhi High Court has stopped over 100 websites, including popular torrent sites, from illegally streaming, broadcasting or providing online access to the movie.
Justice Najmi Waziri directed the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and Department of Information Technology (DIT) as well as the Internet service providers (ISPs) to comply with the order by restricting access to websites which illegally show the film.
"The plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case for an ex-parte ad-interim injunction which, if not granted at this stage, would irreparably prejudice their rights and interests in the feature film - 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'," the court said.
"Defendants 58 to 74 (ISPs and government departments) shall ensure that no access is available to the 105 websites mentioned (by the plaintiff)," it said.
The order came on a plea filed by Fox Star Studios India Ltd and Rajshri Productions Ltd, the producers of the film which is scheduled for release on November 12.
In the plea filed through law firm Saikrishna and Associates, the producers have sought that the film be not viewed on any device or broadcast on any platform through Internet without their permission.
Advocate Saikrishna, who appeared for the producers, told the court that if the pirated digital or other copies of the said feature film are uploaded on the said websites and are made available in the public domain, it will severely breach their copyrights in the film and irreparably impair the profitability of the movie.
He said that such "nefarious" eventuality ought to be prevented and had sought an injunction prior to release of the film as otherwise within the first week of its release, the movie's pirated copies would be available.
The court, after hearing the argument, said, "This court is of the view that plaintiffs (producers) have a right to seek protection of their copyright in the feature film by way of an injunction against defendants 1 to 57 (websites) with a direction to defendants 58 to 75 (ISPs and government departments) to ensure no content of the aforesaid feature film is either uploaded or made available at any platform/web portal/ website to Internet users in India."
Apart from seeking an injunction against the websites from streaming, broadcasting and making the film available for download without permission, the producers also sought damages of Rs 2 crore from those sites which are discovered, during the proceedings, to have infringed the copyright of the producers.
The court issued notice to the websites who were made party in the matter and listed it for further hearing on March 24, 2016.